"Seven Sisters Of Sleep"

By Lord Randall


 Rhoads 4:12 from the Heavy Metal Grimoire reads “When an album begins with the sound of amps being cranked to 11-ish, what follows will either be a blatant rockfest, or a complete and dismal failure.”

Thirty-odd seconds into ‘Monasteries’, we begin to see ghosts – no, not ghosts –twins of RABIES CASTE and a potentially more violent LOWER FORTY-EIGHT taking turns swinging chains wildly in the listener’s direction and, for the most time, hitting their mark. ‘Passed Out Standing’ has an almost bluesy swagger to the verses, which only works if you’ve got the sac to back up such a strut. SEVEN SISTERS OF SLEEP does, calling to mind Cleveland area dirt merchants ULTRALORD. My momentary worries at the sameness of it all were cut short once the band accelerates to 666th gear during’ The Tide Is Rising’, reminding yours truly of RINGWORM’s…well, any RINGWORM, really, minus the drugged-out/dragged-out bridge halfway through, and this is where SSOS begins to shine. The drummer’s got his shit together, fo sho, though my main  complaint thus far is the monotone (though passionate) bark of the vocalist. It wouldn’t take much to push me over the edge with him, but it’s that needed “push” that makes this style of extremity what it is.

These guys are more capable than they’re letting us in on, as the scattershot-yet-disciplined slugfest that is ‘Christmas Morning’ will attest, carrying us into ‘CCEC’ where, regrettably SSOS falters once more. Yeah, we getit, you’re pissed. But at least hold our interest in the short time you’ve allotted yourselves to make that all-important first impression. From the “good but there-ness” of the 
previous track, we slither into ‘Follow The Serpent’, near-ritualistic tribal drumming 
and a riff worthy of early CELTIC FROST greeting us with a sawtoothed grin, then 
proceeding to gnaw its way through our sternum. There’s a good bit of THE 
ABOMINABLE IRON SLOTH here – actually there’s quite a lot within the album
 as a whole, though SSOS have made the majority of it their own. ‘Swamp’ is 
nothing like the groove I thought it’d be, a 4/4 beat holding up the verses and 
showing that this band can do damned good straight up rock if and when they 
want. Though closer ‘Beirut’ seems mixed farther back than the rest of the album, it
 loses none of its punch, working as a fitting end to this 20-minute affair.

 In all, is SEVEN SISTERS OF SLEEP going to set the world on fire with their 
originality? No. Were they intending to? Probably not. Worthy purchase? 
Most fucking assuredly.